Writing: Canada Protests the Google Book Settlement

IFf you’re a Canadian author or copyright holder, you might be interested in the following in regards to your published or future published works. Writer Katherine Gordon was on CBC and you can hear the interview here if you’re interested: www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/

Following is a letter put together by some Canadian authors and if you’re at all worried about Google trying to grab everything in regards to copyright, then you might want to get your name on these petitions.  

Fellow authors and copyright holders:

Many of you are already familiar with the Google Book Settlement, and its dangers for Canadian copyrights. For those of you who are not, we suggest you skim through a highly readable statement by the U.S. National Writers Union, which flatly opposes it.   http://www.nwubook.org/NWU-GBS2-FAQ.html

We are a group of concerned Canadian authors who would like to protest this settlement in as effective a way as possible.  Accordingly, we have written a protest letter, which we hope will gather names, including yours.  Then we intend to release the letter to the media, to politicians, and anywhere else that might conceivably have an effect.

A court in New York City will soon be deciding whether to approve or reject this settlement.  We hope the judge rejects it.

For those of you who have considered opting out, the deadline is January 28.  This is also the deadline for any submissions to the court.

We have very little time left to influence the debate.  If you would like to respond, please do so as quickly as you are able.

To add your name to this petition, please email your name to: dvbolt@aol.com

(Your email will NOT appear on the petition.)

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGE:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=227930255753

LETTER IN PROTEST OF THE GOOGLE BOOK SETTLEMENT

The following Canadian authors and copyright holders wish to protest the Google Book Settlement.  Even in its revised form, it is an assault on international copyright law and has distorted class action law for the benefit of a predatory corporation.

New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and India – all countries with English-language presses similar to Canada’s – have been exempted from the settlement because they protested vigorously against it.  We wish to protest just as loudly.  The Governments of France and Germany protested that illegal digitization of books amounted to theft of a cultural heritage.  We agree, and believe that Canada’s heritage of Cultural nationalism should be applied to the Google settlement.  All of Europe is now exempt, and so should Canada be.

We believe that Canadian Copyrights should be subject to Canadian courts, as well as to the Berne Convention.  We believe that Canadians should not lose control over their works because they fail to sign up in a registry in another country; and, further, that the opt-out (rather than the time-honoured opt-in) clause serves to co-opt many copyright holders who do not have the the time or inclination to study this complicated settlement.   Also, the deadline for opting out insults common sense and benefits only Google.

The director of the US Copyright Office has said “no factors have been demonstrated that would justify creating a system akin to a compulsory license for Google – and only Google – to digitize books for an indefinite period of time.”  She has called it “an end-run around copyright law”.  We agree.

The US Department of Justice sees no reason why Google should not negotiate with authors and publishers individually, just like anyone else who wants to purchase copyright licences.  We agree.

The Google Settlement was negotiated by the Authors Guild of the U.S.  But other U.S. groups — the National Writers Union, the American Society of  Journalists and Authors, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers — are all unequivocally opposed to it.  We do not accept that the Authors Guild speaks for us and join the above organizations in demanding that the settlement be rejected.

If  the settlement is not rejected, we see no reason to trust in the future.  The Google Corporation has behaved in an illegal and predatory fashion in the past and will likely go on behaving in this way.

We join with the writers’ and publishers’ groups, as well as with the foreign law courts and governments, who reject the settlement in its entirety.

Sarah Sheard

Kim Goldberg

Katherine Gordon

Mona Fertig

Patricia Robertson

MORE info:

http://blog.sarahsheard.com/2010/01/calling-canadian-writers-join-our-anti-google-petition/

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